With a clear path from reality TV star to commander-in-chief, all bets are off about what makes someone a serious presidential contender. Decades of public or military service and a record voters can refer back to in their decision-making are now understood to be optional. So yes, it may be unlikely that San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich will run for President in 2020. But who knows?
One thing that’s clear, though, is that Pop has politics on his mind these days. He’s been as outspoken on the culture shifts represented by the Trump administration as anyone in sports (last month he called the President “a soulless coward”), and as a former military intelligence officer, his background makes the idea of a Pop presidency seem less preposterous. Just in case Pop is plotting his bid for the highest office in the land, the folks over at The Rich Eisen Show and Funny Or Die have gone ahead and crafted his first campaign ad.
The ad, such as it is, frames Pop as a leader of men, taking a few shots at Tim Duncan’s advanced playing age and referencing his focus on fundamentals while revisiting his politically-minded press conferences. That probably wouldn’t resemble an actual campaign ad, but it’s a fine place to start. (The attack ad against him, which follows the campaign ad in the above clip, comes a little closer to political reality, pointing out that Pop gave well-paying jobs to immigrants like Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.)
The idea of Pop as candidate is nonetheless far-fetched. Celebrity candidates like Mark Cuban (who is definitely not not thinking about it), Mark Zuckerberg (who is the subject of the Houston-based Draft Zuckerberg 2020 PAC), and even Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (around whom talk has cooled following a big splash this spring, but also it’s only 2017) are all real possibilities. But when pressed about the odds of Popovich entering politics, his fellow outspoken NBA coach (and former protegè) Steve Kerr pointed out on the podcast Pod Save America last month that the guy really, really loves coaching basketball. In other words, this fake ad may be as close as we ever get to a Pop 4 Prez campaign—so relish it while it’s here.